October 2021 in Turkish archaeology

The Temple of Athena in Priene
The Temple of Athena in Priene

Among the most significant archaeological discoveries announced in Turkey in October 2021, a 12.000-year-old temple found during excavations in Boncuklu Tarla is possibly one of the most amazing ones. Moreover, a 2,000-year-old altar was unearthed in the ancient city of Alexandria Troas, while a 1,600-year-old church was discovered in Priene. Finally, 300 square meters of mosaics from the late Roman-early Byzantine period in central Kayseri province’s Incesu district.

Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for October 2021. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!

October 3, 2021

2,000-year-old chapel found after home burns down in Trabzon

A 2,000-year-old chapel was discovered in Turkey’s northern Trabzon province after a fire swept through a home near the Boztepe hill. Source: Daily Sabah

October 4, 2021

Gallipoli Underwater Park opens to diving tourism

The warships that sank 106 years ago on the Historical Gallipoli Peninsula, where the Dardanelles War took place, were opened to tourism as the Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Ancient mound reveals 4,500-year-old jar in southern Turkey

Archaeologists unearthed a structure with a 4,500-year-old jar, numerous pot remains and food fossils inside it at a mound in the southern coastal Turkish city of Mersin. The excavations in the Yumuktepe Höyük are being carried out under the presidency of Isabella Caneva, an archeology professor at the Italy's University of Lecce. Source: Daily Sabah

October 5, 2021

Ottoman tile workshop unearthed in Turkey’s Iznik Roman Theater

A tile workshop with ceramics and glaze kilns was discovered during the archaeological digs in the 2,000-year-old ancient Roman theater of the Iznik district of northwestern Bursa province. While the workshop dates back to the early Ottoman period, archaeologists also unearthed crushed quartz stones in the workshop. Source: Daily Sabah

Excavations explore history of religions in Turkey’s Dülük

The latest excavations in the ancient city of Dülük, located 10 kilometers (6.21 miles) north of the southeastern Gaziantep province, will shed light on the history of different religions. Source: Daily Sabah

Badge found in Turkey’s historical Zerzevan Fortress arouses curiosity

A badge found in Turkey's southeastern province of Diyarbakır during the excavations at the 3,000-year-old Zerzevan Fortress that was used as a "military settlement" during the Roman Empire, aroused curiosity. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 8, 2021

Ancient Soli Pompeiopolis to become archaeopark

Archaeologists in southern Turkey are working to turn the ancient city of Soli Pompeiopolis into an open-air museum, or an archaeopark, the head of excavations at the site has said. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Historical hammam hosts contemporary artworks

Muse Contemporary, an art foundation hosting exhibitions in different venues around Turkey, is showcasing South African artist Michael Singer’s sculpture and installation Bennu Statis at the Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam/Turkish Bath. The exhibition is organized with the Culture and Tourism Ministry, South Africa’s Ankara Embassy and the Fatih Municipality. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

8,000-year-old village life to be exhibited

The findings unearthed in the Aşağıpınar archeological excavations in the northwestern province of Kırklareli will be passed down to future generations in an open-air time tunnel on the site. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Sarcophagi reveal mummified skeletons in Turkey’s Iznik

Archaeologists discovered mummified skeletons inside two sarcophagi in Hisardere Necropolis, located in the Iznik district of northwestern Bursa province. Source: Daily Sabah

October 9, 2021

2,000-year-old altar found near northwestern Turkey's Çanakkale

A 2,000-year-old altar has been unearthed in northwestern Turkey near the town of Ezine in Canakkale province, archeologists said Saturday. A hall with a podium, temple, odium, and bathhouse was among the remains that have survived to the present day in the ancient city of Alexandria Troas, an area near the Aegean Sea. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 12, 2021

1,600-year-old mosaics revealed in ancient Stratonikeia

Archeologists have unearthed 1,600-year-old mosaics during excavations in the ancient city of Stratonikeia in Aegean Muğla province's Yatağan district. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 12, 2021

Ancient mass grave, WWII bunker among new finds in Istanbul's Haydarpaşa dig

The ongoing archaeological excavation on the premises of Istanbul's iconic Haydarpaşa Train Station entered a new phase with the recent removal of concrete platforms, with ancient mass graves, a mausoleum and a bunker used during World War II joining a long list of artifacts retrieved from the area. Source: Daily Sabah

October 13, 2021

Mosaics of Dionysus, Ariadne restored in Turkey’s Metropolis

Thanks to the diligent work of restorers, mosaics depicting Eros, the Greek god of love, Dionysus, the Greek god of fertility, theater and merriment, and his wife Ariadne have been restored to their former glory in the ancient city of Metropolis in the Torbalı district of the western Izmir province. Source: Daily Sabah

October 14, 2021

History being rewritten at train station in Istanbul

History is being rewritten with archaeological excavations at Haydarpaşa Train Station in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district, which was known as Chalcedon (the Land of the Blind) in ancient times. The excavations, which have been continuing for nearly three years, shed light on the history of Kadıköy from the 5th century BC to the early era of the Turkish Republic. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Marmaray suburban rail digs reveal 8,500 years of Istanbul history

The excavations prompted by the Marmaray project, the subsea railway tunnel connecting the Asian and European sides of Istanbul under the Bosporus, have stood out as a major step for documenting the area's long history. The digs have unearthed the 8,500-year-old history of Istanbul and have ensured that the legacy of past civilizations will be passed on to future generations. Source: Daily Sabah

Temple of Zeus to regain former glory with new columns

The Temple of Zeus Lepsynos in the ancient city of Euromos in southwestern Turkey will regain former glory with the resurrection of newly excavated columns. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

October 18, 2021

1,600-year-old church unearthed in Priene ancient city in Aydın

A historic 1,600-year-old church was unearthed during excavations in the ancient city of Priene located in Turkey's Aegean Aydın province. Ali Altın, an academic at Bursa Uludağ University, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the church was probably the oldest in the region, and unlike the other churches and temples discovered before, it was built for mass worship by the first Christian communities in the area. Source: Daily Sabah

October 19, 2021

A relief of a man holding his phallus was found in Sayburç, one of the Taş Tepeler

In Sayburç, one of the Taş Tepeler in Şanlıurfa, a five-figure scene consisting of humans, leopards, and a bull was unearthed. In the figures that are thought to be related to each other, there are two leopards with their mouths open on either side of the male figure holding his phallus with one hand. To the left of them, there was a man holding a snake and a bull standing in front of him with his big horns. Source: Arkeonews

October 20, 2021

8000-year-old unique “fish-figure” small home tool found in Turkey

During this year’s excavations in the Yeşilova and Yassıtepe mounds in İzmir, a unique “fish-figure” small home tool was found. The small tool made of bone dates back 8,000 years and was used for cleaning fish scales. Source: Arkeonews

New findings shed light on past of Turkey's 'city of gladiators'

A total of 378 new historical artifacts unearthed during the recent excavations in Stratonikeia, located in southwestern Muğla province, have shed light on the history of the ancient city, providing deeper insight into its heritage. Source: Daily Sabah

October 21, 2021

New finds come to light in Alexandria Troas

Works that have been continuing in the ancient city of Alexandria Troas, located in a region close to the sea in the northwestern province of Çanakkale’s Ezine district, have brought to light two gates of the city’s bazaar, believed to be 2,200 years old. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Restorers prolong life of historical weapons

A group of restorers take care of historical weapons kept in the Inner Treasure building of Topkapı Palace, a marvel that has been home to the Ottoman dynasty for more than 400 years in Istanbul. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

A 12.000-year-old temple was found during excavations in Boncuklu Tarla in southeastern Turkey

A temple thought to be 12 thousand years old was unearthed in Boncuklu Tarla in the Ilısu Neighborhood of Dargeçit district of Mardin province in southeast Turkey. Source: Arkeonews

Excavations reveal Byzantine church, graves in SW Turkey’s Kaunos

Archaeologists unearthed a Byzantine church, graves and inscriptions during their latest excavations in the ancient city of Kaunos, located in the town of Dalyan in southwestern Muğla province. Source: Daily Sabah

October 22, 2021

8,000 years of village life to be exhibited in Kirklareli

Turkish authorities are working on a project for an open-air museum that will exhibit the findings of archeological excavations through a “time tunnel” in the Aşağıpınar region of the northwestern Kırklareli province. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Sea creature fossil discovered in Tyana ancient city

A 20-million-year-old fossil, believed to belong to a sea creature, has been unearthed during the excavations in the ancient city of Tyana, located in the Kemerhisar district of the central Anatolian province of Niğde. Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Mosaic depicting grape harvest to go on display in Turkey's Hatay

A late Roman-era mosaic depicting scenes of a grape harvest will go on display at the Hatay Archeological Museum, according to the museum directorate. Source: Daily Sabah

The 20-million-year-old fossil of a sea creature in the ancient city of Tyana may have been used as a means of payment

During the ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Tyana in the Kemerhisar district of Niğde, a 20-million-year-old fossil thought to belong to a sea creature was unearthed. Source: Arkeonews

October 25, 2021

A center on the Anatolian Mesopotamian trade route; Tavsanli Mound

Excavations at Tavşanlı mound, which is known to be the first settlement in Western Anatolia during the Bronze Age, continue. The latest excavation results show that the Tavşanlı Mound settlement was a center on the trade route established between Anatolia and Mesopotamia. Source: Arkeonews

Sagalassos sees increasing number of visitors in SW Turkey

Turkey is known as a haven for various ancient cities that carry traces from many diverse civilizations and periods. Sagalassos, nestled in the Taurus Mountains, is among the most well preserved ancient cities of the country and thus hosts an increasing number of visitors every year with its historical remains. Source: Daily Sabah

October 26, 2021

“Mosaic of the Wine Harvest” mosaic to be exhibited in November in Turkey’s Hatay

The mosaic depicting the grape harvest, which is considered to date from the Late Roman period, equivalent to the 5th and 6th century AD, will be shown at the Hatay Archeology Museum, according to a statement issued by the museum’s directorate. Source: Arkeonews

4,250-year-old Hattian golden beak-spouted ewer returns to Turkey

Identified in a museum in London, an ancient golden beak-spouted ewer belonging to the Hattian people that lived in Anatolia in the third millennium BCE has been returned to Turkey. Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said in a statement, “This cultural heritage returned to the land it belongs to.” Source: Daily Sabah

October 27, 2021

Tomb structures in Gölyazı open to tourism

The necropolis (cemetery) of the ancient city of Apollonia ad Rhyndacum will be opened to tourism in the northwestern province of Bursa’s Nilüfer district as “Little Venice.” Source: Hürriyet Daily News

New findings at 9 million-year-old fossil site in Muğla

New fossil specimens were found in an area dating back 9 million years near Kaklıca Tepe, in the Özlüce District of Muğla in Turkey, where excavations started after it was discovered by shepherds in 1993. Source: Daily Sabah

October 28, 2021

Largest Byzantine mosaic structure found in central Turkey

Experts found 300 square meters (3,330 square feet) of mosaics from the late Roman-early Byzantine period in central Kayseri province’s Incesu district. It is the largest mosaic structure from the Byzantine period in central Anatolia. Source: Daily Sabah

October 29, 2021

Smyrna Agora documents reveal clues about İzmir quakes

The finds in Smyrna Agora, known as the largest ancient-period agora in a city center, have revealed information about the previous earthquakes in İzmir. Stating that there are many clues about the earthquake in the ancient city, Associate Professor Akın Ersoy said: “There are inscriptions and documents of the İzmir earthquakes that occurred in the middle of the sixth century and in 177 in the city.” Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Statue heads of “Aphrodite” and “Dionysus” were found in Aizanoi Ancient City

The statue heads of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, and Dionysus, the god of wine, were unearthed in the excavations of the ancient city of Aizanoi, which has a history of 5,000 years, located in the Çavdarhisar district of Kütahya. Source: Arkeonews

A female executive’s seal from 3000 years ago was discovered in Turkey

During the excavations carried out in southeastern Turkey’s Gaziantep’s Karkamış (Carchemish) Ancient City, seals and prints determined to belong to a female administrator named Matiya were found 3,000 years ago during the called “Late Bronze Age”. Source: Arkeonews

October 30, 2021

Cave church draws visitors for faith tourism

St. Pierre Church, considered a pilgrimage place for Christians and believed to be the world’s first cave church by some sources, hosted over 62,000 visitors so far in 2021. Source: Hürriyet Daily News